100ft. Le Renee
Location: Between St. Martin and Tintamarre
Depth: 130 – 140 ft (40 – 45m)
Look for: Giant Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Schools of large Horse Eyed Jacks, Barracuda, Sharks
La Renee is a site that we have been diving more and more often. La Renee is an artificial wreck that was scuttled about 10 years ago. She is about 100 foot long and is an old tug. Lying in sand at 140 feet deep, only advanced divers can go, and although the depth limits out no decompression time at this site, it is well worth the short amount of time down there. Photographs show that there is lots of healthy growth on the wreck and that she has also attracted a lot of marine life. The depth also means that visibility is normally fantastic here and on the way up and down the shot line you can encounter lots of barracuda, sharks, large schools of horse eyed jack fish, eagle rays and more. At the bottom in the sand we have seen HUGE turtles, as well and giant stingrays. We use this dive site for our deep diver speciality dives, and we love it!
The Tugboat Wreck
Location: Tintamarre (off the French Side)
Depth: 45 feet (14 meters)
Look for: Stingrays and spotted eagle rays.
The Tugboat is located on the northern side of Tintamarre. Here there is a 50 foot Tugboat that was intentionally sunk about 15 years ago. It lies upright, making for fantastic photos, and is in about 45 foot of sand. Surrounding the Tug are beds of eel grass that sometimes have eagle rays and sting rays hunting for food. The Tug has become covered in coral over the years and always has tons of fish around it. In January, February and March it has been known to see Dolphins here, as they like the northern side of Tintamarre to hang out. About 100 feet away from the wreck there is a beautiful reef with a small wall that comes up from the sand at 45 feet to about 20 feet. We see all sorts of marine life here, and the coolest thing that I ever saw here, was a free swimming Octopus. We watched it for 15 minutes!
The Bridge (Le Pont)
Location: Dutch side entrance to Simpson Bay
Depth: 50 feet (14 meters)
Type: Multiple wrecks and a bridge.
Look for: The remains of a bridge and three small wrecks.
The Bridge (or Le Pont in French) is a dive site on the Dutch side just in front of the Dutch entrance to the Simpson Bay Lagoon. It is a maximum depth of 50 feet and it is really four dive sites in one.
The story goes that about 10 years ago a very rich man wanted to put his very large mega yacht into the Simpson Bay Lagoon. However, the opening of the bridge at the time was not large enough to accommodate his mega yacht. So, he paid for the bridge to be taken down and the entrance to the lagoon made larger, and now his very large mega yacht fits through. They took the old Simpson Bay Bridge and placed it in the sand not far from the lagoon. It doesn’t look so much like a bridge when you see it underwater, it is more a mix of I-beams and unrecognizable slabs of wood and metal. But, it has attracted a lot of life there, often a super huge green turtle. As the bridge itself isn’t very large, the diving centers got together and scuttled three other smaller sailing vessels. These wrecks have attracted a lot of life as well, especially lobsters and sting rays all over. I love this site as you can not see the other wrecks from each other. So the dive is like four sites in one, as we explore one wreck, then swim off into the blue until the other wreck appears out of nowhere, we explore that wreck and then swim off again. It always feels like an adventure. The coolest thing that I have ever seen at this site, is the biggest lobster ever! It must have been two foot long, I don’t know how many pounds as I don’t eat lobster, but it was huge!
Wreck of the Fuh Sheng
Location: Dutch Side
Depth: 110 feet (33.5 meters)
Look for: Garden eels in the sand around the wreck.
The Fuh Sheng is a natural wreck. It is a Taiwanese Fishing vessel that was trying to reach the island of Saint Martin before it sank. It didn’t make it, and is now laying in about 110 feet of water. This is a site that we often see sharks coming to. As we are descending down the line, it isn’t unusual to see a shark circling the wreck. The actual wreck is laying on it’s side, and you can’t go inside it, but is does attract a lot of life. I really love the eel garden just off of the bow. There are about 100 eels, but you have to move really slowly, or else they duck down and hide in their holes. The coolest thing that I have ever seen here is a hammerhead shark!
Wreck of the Gregory
Location: Dutch Side
Depth: 50 feet (15 meters)
Look for: Barracudas and schooling fish.
This is a beautiful, natural wreck that sank in 50 feet of water. It is a 100 ft barge ship that sank about 15 years ago. As it sunk it flipped over on it’s side, so it is an upside down wreck. It is really beautiful, with large schools of fish hanging out at the propellers and dozens of barracudas. There are also lots of scorpion fish at this site (so be careful) who are just amazing! You can’t really go inside this wreck (unless you have proper training), but if you poke your head inside, you will see loads of glass fish, trumpet fish, and sometimes a sleeping turtle. The coolest thing I have seen at the Gregory is a 7 foot nurse shark. I know it was that big because one of my divers laid down next to it!
Location: In front of Simpson Bay
Depth: 60 – 95 feet (20 – 28 meters)
Look for: Rays, fire worms, big schools of Horse-eyed Jacks and sharks in the blue.
The Porpoise is an artificial wreck that was sunk about 8 years through the collaboration of several diving centers on the island. She lays in about 95 feet of sand, but this 100 ft long tug boat rises up to about 60 feet in depth. She used to be straight up in the water, but the large swells or Hurricane Omar in 2008 rocked her onto her side a bit, so now she is on a slant. For those of you that like wreck diving, or have never been on a wreck dive, then the Porpoise is a great site. In the sand off the sides of the wreck you can often see huge sting rays nestling themselves in the sand. This wreck is also great for penetration for those divers that are qualified, or to complete the wreck diver specialty, for those divers that are not.
Location: The Roro
Depth: 30 -80+ feet
Look for: Sting Rays
The Roro is an artificial wreck that lies in 80 feet of water on a sandy bottom. It is also called Carib Cargo or Carib Ghost. The wreck is called the Roro as she was a “roll on” “roll off” cargo vessel. About 100 foot long, the wreck has been modified for divers, allowing us to enter and explore the large open passages. Surrounding the wreck are about 30 reef pots attracting marine life, which increases every year. The visibility here is often over 100 ft and the coolest thing that I ever saw here was a baby trunk fish, hiding in one of the many holes in the wreck.